The Bulldog sailors overcame penalties, lack of rest, and the challenges of a new boat to come away with a successful weekend.
The No. 3 women’s team closed out the weekend with three major victories. Emily Billing ’13 and Claire Dennis ’13 competed individually at the New England Singlehanded Championships and ended with fourth and fifth place finishes respectively, giving them a berth in the National Singlehanded Championships. The rest of the team travelled up to upstate New York where they raced to a first place finish at the Women’s Finger Lakes Intersectional.
Meanwhile, the No. 6 coed team captured the Smith Trophy, placed third at the Danmark Trophy, and finished eighth at Southern Series Three.
Billing’s and Dennis’ finishes this weekend marked the second time the pair qualified for the national regatta, but Dennis said that despite their experience in such a competitive event, she was still uncertain whether they would be able to qualify again. And for Dennis, her fifth place finish did not come easy.
After the first four races, Dennis sat in ninth place due to an OCS (On Course Side) penalty. But asurge in the last ten events,including two first place finishes boosted her to fifth place with 67 points, taking the last qualifying spot for the national regatta.
“I was more conservative in the final races,” Dennis said.
Billing finished consistently in the top six in all of her races and scored58 points for her fourth place finish.She said that she still wants to get a better feel for the Laser, a single-person, single-sail boat used in individual meets versus the typical FJ’s and 420’s in typical college sailing.
“I want to sail Lasers a little bit more and make sure that I’m physically fit,” Billing said concerning her preparation for nationals.
A little over 300 miles away on Seneca Lake, the Bulldog women fought through cold weather and breezy conditions at the Women’s Finger Lakes Intersectional. A-division skipper Marlena Fauer ’14 and crew Eugenia Custo Greig ’14 grabbed four first-and three second-place finishes, but fell to first place Hobart Collegeby one point. For the B Division, Genoa Warner ’12 and Stephanie Schuyler ’12 won the regatta for the Elis with their six individual wins en route to a dominating 13-point margin of victory in their division.
At the MIT-hosted Smith Trophy, the co-ed sailors were presented with a new challenge:mastering the Tech Dinghy, a single-sailed boat used only at MIT.
“It was my first experience with the Tech Dinghy,” said Chris Segerblom ’14. “They’re a little bit more bulky and spacious, but they tack really easy and [sail] nice on the Charles River.”
And the new boat certainly didn’t seem like much of a hinderance to the team’s performance. Segerblom and Elizabeth Brim ’11 came away with nine top-five finishes for an overall second place finish in the A division. B division skipper Max Nickbarg ’14 and crew Anna Han ’14 grabbed seventh place in their division.
On Sunday, other Bulldogs on the coed team flocked to the Coast Guard Academy for the Danmark Trophy to match up with nine of the top ten coed teams in the country.
“[The Danmark] is really the first regatta that you see all the starters at,” Joseph Morris ’12 said.
The Coast Guard Academy has two fleets of 420s and FJs, allowing for simultaneous A and B division racing unlike most other events. A-division skipper Morris and crews Amanda Salvesen ’14 and Heather May ’13 fought through the lack of rest time and grabbed second place overall.
“It’s much more of a mental challenge to stay concentrated,” Morris said of the back-to-back racing. “It got really windy, and [Salvesen and May] were physically exhausted, but they hung in there and deserve a ton credit.”
In the B-Division, skipper Cameron Cullman ’13 and crew Blair Belling ’11 placed tenth.
This weekend, the women set sail again at the Navy Women’s Fall Intersectional, while the co-ed team will compete in the Storm Trysail Regatta, the Moody Trophy, the Southern Series Fourand the New England Men’s Singlehanded Championship.